The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War, in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies; the war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U. S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. American military advisors began arriving in what was French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state.
The Việt Cộng known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U. S. involvement escalated in 1960, continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1964, there were 23,000 U. S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U. S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam known as the North Vietnamese Army engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces; every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.
U. S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces and airstrikes. The U. S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; the Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders. S. forces. Gradual withdrawal of U. S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U. S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.
S. Congress; the capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, 58,220 U. S. service members died in the conflict, a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War; the end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea.
Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s. Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most used name in English, it has been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict. As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. In Vietnamese, the war is known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ, but less formally as'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ', it is called Chiến tranh Việt Nam. The primary military organizations involved in the war were as follows: One side consisted of th
Are Years What? (for Marianne Moore)
Are Years What? is a sculpture by American artist Mark di Suvero. It is in the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, in Washington, D. C. United States; the sculpture is named after poet Marianne Moore's "What Are Years". From May 22, 2013 through May 26, 2014, the sculpture resided temporarily in San Francisco, as part of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Mark di Suvero exhibition at Crissy Field; this 10-ton sculpture is made of nine red-orange steel I-beams, welded together, with one section suspended as a giant mobile with wire, shaped like a "V". Are Years What? is signature of di Suvero's monumental early 1960s "open-work constructions." These works utilize cast-off construction materials like chains, metal bars, ladders. This sculpture is the first that di Suvero built, from beginning to end, with I-beams and using a crane by himself. Are Years What? was in the collection of the artist the collection of Enrico Martignoni of Winnemucca, Nevada. Hirshhorn director James Demetrion first saw the sculpture when it was on display in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.
The sculpture was acquired by the Hirshhorn with funds from the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, a gift from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, by exchange of the di Suvero artwork ISIS, in 1999; the sculpture was installed on June 1999, by crane into the museum's sculpture garden. The dangling "V" shaped piece of the sculpture has been described as representing the prow of a ship, or, as by art critic Irving Sandler as a representation of di Suvero's family's maritime heritage in Venice. Sandler stated that the acute angles have male and female associations, with the horizontal representing a penis and the vertical "V", a vagina, which di Suvero does not associate with the work; the "V" has been suggested to represent birds in flight or a "V" for victory. Jayne Merkel believed that Are Years What? Exploited the strengths of the I-beams yet "at the same time, he has made a piece, graceful and well balanced - aesthetically pleasing and intriguing from a number of points of view." Upon the sculpture's installation at the Hirshhorn, The Washington Post received the work as "brilliant in conception," "prominent and memorable.
It stays in the mind. It is a gift to the city and all who visit." Are Years What? is considered by some to be di Suvero's "breakthrough work." Solo show, 1997, Jeanne-Bucher Gallery, Paris Solo show, 1995–1996, Storm King Art Center, New York Solo show, 1995, Venice Biennale, Italy Solo show, 1994–1995, Valencia Museum of Modern Art, Spain Mark di Suvero Retrospect, 1991, Museum of Modern Art, Nice 1988, Wurttembergischer Kunstverein, Germany Prospect Park, 1975–1976, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York Sculpture off the Pedestal, 1970s, Grand Rapids, Michigan Plus by Minus, 1968, Albright-Knox Gallery, New York List of public art in Washington, D. C. Ward 2 Kardon, J. "1967 at the Crossroads", Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987. Exhibition catalog. Lyons, J. Washington, D. C.: A Pictorial Celebration. Sterling Publishing, 2005. ISBN 978-1-4027-1527-3 Features Are Years What? in pictorial Richard, P.. "Here & Now". The Washington Post. Media related to Are Years What? at Wikimedia Commons Are Years What? from di Suvero's website, on display in Venice.
"What Are Years" poem by Marianne Moore
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.
Trade, intermarriage a
Republic of China (1912–1949)
The Republic of China controlled the Chinese mainland between 1912 and 1949. It was established in January 1912 after the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China, its government moved to Taipei in December 1949 due to the Kuomintang's defeat in the Chinese Civil War. The Republic's first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only before handing over the position to Yuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang Army, his party led by Song Jiaoren, won the parliamentary election held in December 1912. Song Jiaoren was assassinated shortly after and the Beiyang Army led by Yuan Shikai maintained full control of the Beiyang government. Between late 1915 and early 1916, Yuan Shikai tried to reinstate the monarchy before abdicating due to popular unrest. After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, members of cliques in the Beiyang Army claimed their autonomy and clashed with each other. During this period, the authority of the Beiyang government was weakened by a restoration of the Qing dynasty.
In 1921, Sun Yat-sen's Kuomintang established a rival government in Canton City, Canton Province, together with the fledgling Communist Party of China. The economy of North China, overtaxed to support warlord adventurism, collapsed between 1927 and 1928. General Chiang Kai-shek, who became KMT leader after Sun Yat-sen's death, started the Northern Expedition military campaign in 1926 to overthrow the Beiyang government, completed in 1928. In April 1927, Chiang established a nationalist government in Nanking, massacred communists in Shanghai, which forced the CPC into armed rebellion, marking the beginning of the Chinese Civil War. There were industrialization and modernization, but conflict between the Nationalist government in Nanking, the CPC, remnant warlords, the Empire of Japan. Nation-building took a backseat to the Second Sino-Japanese War when the Imperial Japanese Army launched an offensive against China in 1937 that turned into a full-scale invasion. After the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II in 1945, the Chinese Civil War resumed in 1946 between the KMT and CPC, with both sides receiving foreign assistance due to the Cold War from the USA and USSR, respectively.
During this period, the 1946 Constitution of the Republic of China replaced the 1928 Organic Law as the Republic's fundamental law. Near the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party established the People's Republic of China, overthrowing the nationalist government on the Chinese mainland; the Government of the Republic of China moved from Nanking to Taipei in 1949, controlling only the Taiwan area after 1949. The official name of the state in the mainland was the "Republic of China". Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne, the name was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state during the Qing era; the ROC used alternate names throughout its existence were Republican China or Republican Era, as well as the Beiyang government, the Nationalist government.
A republic was formally established on 1 January 1912 following the Xinhai Revolution, which itself began with the Wuchang Uprising on 10 October 1911 overthrowing the Qing dynasty and ending over two thousand years of imperial rule in China. From its founding until 1949 it was based on mainland China. Central authority waxed and waned in response to warlordism, Japanese invasion, a full-scale civil war, with central authority strongest during the Nanjing Decade, when most of China came under the control of the Kuomintang under an authoritarian one-party military dictatorship. At the end of World War II in 1945, the Empire of Japan surrendered control of Taiwan and its island groups to the Allies, Taiwan was placed under the Republic of China's administrative control; the communist takeover of mainland China in the Chinese Civil War in 1949 left the ruling Kuomintang with control over only Taiwan, Kinmen and other minor islands. With the 1949 loss of mainland China in the civil war, the ROC government retreated to Taiwan and the KMT declared Taipei the provisional capital.
The Communist Party of China took over all of mainland China and founded the People's Republic of China in Beijing. In 1912, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established to replace the monarchy; the Qing dynasty that preceded the republic experienced a century of instability throughout the 19th century, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism. The ongoing instability led to the outburst of Boxer Rebellion in 1900, whose attacks on foreigners led to the invasion by the Eight Nation Alliance. China signed the Boxer Protocol and paid a large indemnity to the foreign powers: 450 million taels of fine silver. A program of institutional reform proved too late. Only the lack of an alternative regime prolonged its existence until 1912; the establishment of the Chinese Republic developed out of the Wuchang Uprising against the Qing government on 10 October 1911. That date is now celebrated annually as the ROC's national day known as the "Double Ten Day".
On 29 December 1911, Sun Yat-sen was elected president b
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Joseph Herman Hirshhorn was an entrepreneur and art collector. Born in Mitau, the twelfth of thirteen children, Hirshhorn emigrated to the United States with his widowed mother at the age of six. Hirshhorn went to work as an office boy on Wall Street at age 14. Three years in 1916, he became a stockbroker and earned $168,000 that year. A shrewd investor, he sold off his Wall Street investments two months before the collapse of 1929, realizing $4 million in cash. Hirshhorn made his fortune in the oil business. In the 1930s, he focused much of his attention on gold and uranium mining prospects in Canada, establishing an office in Toronto in 1933. In the 1950s, he and geologist Franc Joubin were responsible for the "Big Z" uranium discovery in northeastern Ontario and the subsequent founding of the city of Elliot Lake. Hirshhorn Avenue, a residential street in that city, is named after him. By 1960, when he sold the last of his uranium stock, he had made over $100 million in cash from the uranium business.
From 1961 to 1976, Hirshhorn lived in a three-story Norman chateau in a 22-acre estate at the summit of Round Hill, a 550-foot rise in north-central Greenwich, with a view of the Manhattan skyline. When Hirshhorn began to make money, he began to buy both paintings and sculpture, he amassed a collection of paintings and sculptures from the 20th centuries. Applying himself to the study of art, he would question dealers and curators, visit artists in their studios, he made quick decisions on buying a piece. "If you've got to look at a picture a dozen times before you make up your mind", he once said, "there's something wrong with you or the picture". Hirshhorn graced his Greenwich mansion with paintings by Willem de Kooning, Raphael Soyer, Jackson Pollock, Larry Rivers, Thomas Eakins, the grounds outside with sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Alexander Calder, Richard Bernstein, Henry Moore, he allowed many nonprofit groups to use tours of his sculpture garden for fundraising.
In 1966 Hirshhorn donated much of his collection, consisting of 6,000 paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20h centuries, to the United States government, along with a $2 million endowment. The Smithsonian Institution established the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D. C. in 1966 to hold the collection. At Hirshhorn's death in 1981, he willed an additional 6,000 works and a $5 million endowment to the museum, his business dealings in Canada were not without controversy. He was investigated by the Ontario Securities Commission, convicted twice of breaking Canadian foreign exchange laws, deported from Canada for illegal stock manipulation, fined for an illegal securities sale and illegally smuggling cash out of Canada. Hirshhorn's first wife was Jennie Berman, they were married in 1922 and separated in 1941. They had four children, daughters Robin Gertrude, Gene Harriet, Naomi Caryl, son Gordon, he was married to portraitist and book illustrator Lily Harmon from 1947–1956.
The couple adopted Amy and Jo Ann. Hirshhorn's third wife was named Brenda Hawley Heide. In 1964 he married Olga Hirshhorn, he remained married to her until his death in 1981 </ref>. Hyams, Barry, 1979,Hirshhorn, Medici from Brooklyn: A biography. Dutton, ISBN 0-525-12520-5 World History.org The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona