Provinces and territories of Canada
The provinces and territories of Canada are the sub-national governments within the geographical areas of Canada under the authority of the Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of British North America—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the Province of Canada —were united to form a federated colony, becoming a sovereign nation in the next century. Over its history, Canada's international borders have changed several times, the country has grown from the original four provinces to the current ten provinces and three territories. Together, the provinces and territories make up the world's second-largest country by area. Several of the provinces were former British colonies, Quebec was a French colony, while others were added as Canada grew; the three territories govern the rest of the area of the former British North America. The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867, whereas territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada.
The powers flowing from the Constitution Act are divided between the Government of Canada and the provincial governments to exercise exclusively. A change to the division of powers between the federal government and the provinces requires a constitutional amendment, whereas a similar change affecting the territories can be performed unilaterally by the Parliament of Canada or government. In modern Canadian constitutional theory, the provinces are considered to be sovereign within certain areas based on the divisions of responsibility between the provincial and federal government within the Constitution Act 1867, each province thus has its own representative of the Canadian "Crown", the lieutenant governor; the territories are not sovereign, but instead their authorities and responsibilities come directly from the federal level, as a result, have a commissioner instead of a lieutenant governor. Notes: There are three territories in Canada. Unlike the provinces, the territories of Canada have no inherent sovereignty and have only those powers delegated to them by the federal government.
They include all of mainland Canada north of latitude 60° north and west of Hudson Bay, as well as most islands north of the Canadian mainland. The following table lists the territories in order of precedence. Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia were the original provinces, formed when several British North American colonies federated on July 1, 1867, into the Dominion of Canada and by stages began accruing the indicia of sovereignty from the United Kingdom. Prior to this and Quebec were united as the Province of Canada. Over the following years, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island were added as provinces; the British Crown had claimed two large areas north-west of the Canadian colony, known as Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory and assigned them to the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1870, the company relinquished its claims for £300,000, assigning the vast territory to the Government of Canada. Subsequently, the area was re-organized into the province of the Northwest Territories; the Northwest Territories were vast at first, encompassing all of current northern and western Canada, except for the British holdings in the Arctic islands and the Colony of British Columbia.
The British claims to the Arctic islands were transferred to Canada in 1880, adding to the size of the Northwest Territories. The year of 1898 saw the Yukon Territory renamed as Yukon, carved from the parts of the Northwest Territories surrounding the Klondike gold fields. On September 1, 1905, a portion of the Northwest Territories south of the 60th parallel north became the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 1912, the boundaries of Quebec and Manitoba were expanded northward: Manitoba's to the 60° parallel, Ontario's to Hudson Bay and Quebec's to encompass the District of Ungava. In 1869, the people of Newfoundland voted to remain a British colony over fears that taxes would increase with Confederation, that the economic policy of the Canadian government would favour mainland industries. In 1907, Newfoundland acquired dominion status. In the middle of the Great Depression in Canada with Newfoundland facing a prolonged period of economic crisis, the legislature turned over political control to the Newfoundland Commission of Government in 1933.
Following Canada's participation in World War II, in a 1948 referendum, a narrow majority of Newfoundland citizens voted to join the Confederation, on March 31, 1949, Newfoundland became Canada's tenth province. In 2001, it was renamed Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1903, the Alaska Panhandle Dispute fixed British Columbia's northwestern boundary; this was one of only two provinces in Canadian history to have its size reduced. The second reduction, in 1927, occurred when a boundary dispute between Canada and the Dominion of Newfoundland saw Labrador increased at Quebec's expense – this land returned to Canada, as part of the province of Newfoundland, in 1949. In 1999, Nunavut was created from the eastern portion of the Northwest Territories. Yukon lies in the western portion of Northern Canada. All t
A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria living among filaments of multiple fungi species in a mutualistic relationship. The combined lichen has properties different from those of its component organisms. Lichens come in many colors and forms; the properties are sometimes plant-like, but lichens are not plants. Lichens may have tiny, leafless branches, flat leaf-like structures, flakes that lie on the surface like peeling paint, a powder-like appearance, or other growth forms. A macrolichen is a lichen, either bush-like or leafy. Here, "macro" and "micro" do not refer to size, but to the growth form. Common names for lichens may contain the word moss, lichens may superficially look like and grow with mosses, but lichens are not related to mosses or any plant. Lichens do not have roots that absorb water and nutrients as plants do, but like plants, they produce their own nutrition by photosynthesis; when they grow on plants, they do not live as parasites, but instead use the plants as a substrate.
Lichens occur from sea level to high alpine elevations, in many environmental conditions, can grow on any surface. Lichens are abundant growing on bark, mosses, on other lichens, hanging from branches "living on thin air" in rain forests and in temperate woodland, they grow on rock, gravestones, exposed soil surfaces, in the soil as part of a biological soil crust. Different kinds of lichens have adapted to survive in some of the most extreme environments on Earth: arctic tundra, hot dry deserts, rocky coasts, toxic slag heaps, they can live inside solid rock, growing between the grains. It is estimated that 6% of Earth's land surface is covered by lichens. There are about 20,000 known species of lichens; some lichens have lost the ability to reproduce sexually, yet continue to speciate. Lichens can be seen as being self-contained miniature ecosystems, where the fungi, algae, or cyanobacteria have the potential to engage with other microorganisms in a functioning system that may evolve as an more complex composite organism.
Lichens may be long-lived, with some considered to be among the oldest living things. They are among the first living things to grow on fresh rock exposed after an event such as a landslide; the long life-span and slow and regular growth rate of some lichens can be used to date events. In American English, "lichen" is pronounced the same as the verb "liken". In British English, both this pronunciation and one rhyming with "kitchen" ) are used. English lichen derives from Greek λειχήν leichēn via Latin lichen; the Greek noun, which means "licker", derives from the verb λείχειν leichein, "to lick". Lichens grow in a wide range of shapes and forms; the shape of a lichen is determined by the organization of the fungal filaments. The nonreproductive tissues, or vegetative body parts, are called the thallus. Lichens are grouped by thallus type, since the thallus is the most visually prominent part of the lichen. Thallus growth forms correspond to a few basic internal structure types. Common names for lichens come from a growth form or color, typical of a lichen genus.
Common groupings of lichen thallus growth forms are: fruticose – growing like a tuft or multiple-branched leafless mini-shrub, upright or hanging down, 3-dimensional branches with nearly round cross section or flattened foliose – growing in 2-dimensional, leaf-like lobes crustose – crust-like, adhering to a surface like a thick coat of paint squamulose – formed of small leaf-like scales crustose below but free at the tips leprose – powdery gelatinous – jelly like filamentous – stringy or like matted hair byssoid – wispy, like teased wool structurelessThere are variations in growth types in a single lichen species, grey areas between the growth type descriptions, overlapping between growth types, so some authors might describe lichens using different growth type descriptions. When a crustose lichen gets old, the center may start to crack up like old-dried paint, old-broken asphalt paving, or like the polygonal "islands" of cracked-up mud in a dried lakebed; this is called being rimose or areolate, the "island" pieces separated by the cracks are called areolas.
The areolas appear separated, but are connected by an underlying "prothallus" or "hypothallus". When a crustose lichen grows from a center and appears to radiate out, it is called crustose placodioid; when the edges of the areolas lift up from the substrate, it is called squamulose. These growth form groups are not defined. Foliose lichens may sometimes branch and appear to be fruticose. Fruticose lichens may have flattened branching parts and appear leafy. Squamulose lichens may appear where the edges lift up. Gelatinous lichens may appear leafy when dry. Means of telling them apart in these cases are in the sections below. Structures involved in reproduction appear as discs, bumps, or squiggly lines on the surface of the thallus; the thallus is not always the part of the lichen, most visually noticeable. Some lichens can grow inside solid rock between the grains, with only the sexual fruiting part visible growing outside the rock; these may be dramatic in color or appearance. Forms of these sexual parts are not in the above growth form categories.
The most visually noticeable reproductive parts are circular, plate-like or disc-like outgrowths, with crinkly edges, are described in sections below. Lichens come in many colors. Coloratio
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Oil shale is an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock containing kerogen from which liquid hydrocarbons can be produced, called shale oil. Shale oil is a substitute for conventional crude oil. Deposits of oil shale occur around the world, including major deposits in the United States. A 2016 estimate of global deposits set the total world resources of oil shale equivalent of 6.05 trillion barrels of oil in place. Heating oil shale to a sufficiently high temperature causes the chemical process of pyrolysis to yield a vapor. Upon cooling the vapor, the liquid shale oil—an unconventional oil—is separated from combustible oil-shale gas. Oil shale can be burned directly in furnaces as a low-grade fuel for power generation and district heating or used as a raw material in chemical and construction-materials processing. Oil shale gains attention as a potential abundant source of oil whenever the price of crude oil rises. At the same time, oil-shale mining and processing raise a number of environmental concerns, such as land use, waste disposal, water use, waste-water management, greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollution.
Estonia and China have well-established oil shale industries, Brazil and Russia utilize oil shale. General composition of oil shales constitutes inorganic matrix and kerogen. Oil shales differ from oil-bearing shales, shale deposits that contain petroleum, sometimes produced from drilled wells. Examples of oil-bearing shales are the Bakken Formation, Pierre Shale, Niobrara Formation, Eagle Ford Formation. Oil shale, an organic-rich sedimentary rock, belongs to the group of sapropel fuels, it does not have a definite geological definition nor a specific chemical formula, its seams do not always have discrete boundaries. Oil shales vary in their mineral content, chemical composition, type of kerogen, depositional history and not all oil shales would be classified as shales in the strict sense. According to the petrologist Adrian C. Hutton of the University of Wollongong, oil shales are not "geological nor geochemically distinctive rock but rather'economic' term." Their common defining feature is low solubility in low-boiling organic solvents and generation of liquid organic products on thermal decomposition.
Oil shale differs from bitumen-impregnated rocks, humic coals and carbonaceous shale. While oil sands do originate from the biodegradation of oil and pressure have not transformed the kerogen in oil shale into petroleum, that means that its maturation does not exceed early mesocatagenetic. General composition of oil shales constitutes inorganic matrix and kerogen. While the bitumen portion of oil shales is soluble in carbon disulfide, kerogen portion is insoluble in carbon disulfide and may contain iron, nickel and uranium. Oil shale contains a lower percentage of organic matter than coal. In commercial grades of oil shale the ratio of organic matter to mineral matter lies between 0.75:5 and 1.5:5. At the same time, the organic matter in oil shale has an atomic ratio of hydrogen to carbon 1.2 to 1.8 times lower than for crude oil and about 1.5 to 3 times higher than for coals. The organic components of oil shale derive from a variety of organisms, such as the remains of algae, pollen, plant cuticles and corky fragments of herbaceous and woody plants, cellular debris from other aquatic and land plants.
Some deposits contain significant fossils. The mineral matter in oil shale carbonates. Inorganic matrix can contain quartz, clays, carbonates and some other minerals. Geologists can classify oil shales on the basis of their composition as carbonate-rich shales, siliceous shales, or cannel shales. Another classification, known as the van Krevelen diagram, assigns kerogen types, depending on the hydrogen and oxygen content of oil shales' original organic matter; the most used classification of oil shales, developed between 1987 and 1991 by Adrian C. Hutton, adapts petrographic terms from coal terminology; this classification designates oil shales as terrestrial, lacustrine, or marine, based on the environment of the initial biomass deposit. Known oil shales are predominantly aquatic origin. Hutton's classification scheme has proven useful in estimating the yield and composition of the extracted oil; as source rocks for most conventional oil reservoirs, oil shale deposits are found in all world oil provinces, although most of them are too deep to be exploited economically.
As with all oil and gas resources, analysts distinguish between oil shale resources and oil shale reserves. "Resources" refers to all oil shale deposits, while "reserves", represents those deposits from which producers can extract oil shale economically using existing technology. Since extraction technologies develop continuously, planners can only estimate the amount of recoverable kerogen. Although resources of oil shale occur in many countries, only 33 countries possess known deposits of possible economic value. Well-explored deposits classifiable as reserves, include the Green River deposits in the wester
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying the genetic instructions used in the growth, development and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses. DNA and ribonucleic acid are nucleic acids; the two DNA strands are known as polynucleotides as they are composed of simpler monomeric units called nucleotides. Each nucleotide is composed of one of four nitrogen-containing nucleobases, a sugar called deoxyribose, a phosphate group; the nucleotides are joined to one another in a chain by covalent bonds between the sugar of one nucleotide and the phosphate of the next, resulting in an alternating sugar-phosphate backbone. The nitrogenous bases of the two separate polynucleotide strands are bound together, according to base pairing rules, with hydrogen bonds to make double-stranded DNA; the complementary nitrogenous bases are divided into two groups and purines. In DNA, the pyrimidines are cytosine. Both strands of double-stranded DNA store the same biological information.
This information is replicated as and when the two strands separate. A large part of DNA is non-coding, meaning that these sections do not serve as patterns for protein sequences; the two strands of DNA are thus antiparallel. Attached to each sugar is one of four types of nucleobases, it is the sequence of these four nucleobases along the backbone. RNA strands are created using DNA strands as a template in a process called transcription. Under the genetic code, these RNA strands specify the sequence of amino acids within proteins in a process called translation. Within eukaryotic cells, DNA is organized into long structures called chromosomes. Before typical cell division, these chromosomes are duplicated in the process of DNA replication, providing a complete set of chromosomes for each daughter cell. Eukaryotic organisms store most of their DNA inside the cell nucleus as nuclear DNA, some in the mitochondria as mitochondrial DNA, or in chloroplasts as chloroplast DNA. In contrast, prokaryotes store their DNA only in circular chromosomes.
Within eukaryotic chromosomes, chromatin proteins, such as histones and organize DNA. These compacting structures guide the interactions between DNA and other proteins, helping control which parts of the DNA are transcribed. DNA was first isolated by Friedrich Miescher in 1869, its molecular structure was first identified by Francis Crick and James Watson at the Cavendish Laboratory within the University of Cambridge in 1953, whose model-building efforts were guided by X-ray diffraction data acquired by Raymond Gosling, a post-graduate student of Rosalind Franklin. DNA is used by researchers as a molecular tool to explore physical laws and theories, such as the ergodic theorem and the theory of elasticity; the unique material properties of DNA have made it an attractive molecule for material scientists and engineers interested in micro- and nano-fabrication. Among notable advances in this field are DNA origami and DNA-based hybrid materials. DNA is a long polymer made from repeating units called nucleotides.
The structure of DNA is dynamic along its length, being capable of coiling into tight loops and other shapes. In all species it is composed of two helical chains, bound to each other by hydrogen bonds. Both chains are coiled around the same axis, have the same pitch of 34 angstroms; the pair of chains has a radius of 10 angstroms. According to another study, when measured in a different solution, the DNA chain measured 22 to 26 angstroms wide, one nucleotide unit measured 3.3 Å long. Although each individual nucleotide is small, a DNA polymer can be large and contain hundreds of millions, such as in chromosome 1. Chromosome 1 is the largest human chromosome with 220 million base pairs, would be 85 mm long if straightened. DNA does not exist as a single strand, but instead as a pair of strands that are held together; these two long strands coil in the shape of a double helix. The nucleotide contains both a segment of the backbone of a nucleobase. A nucleobase linked to a sugar is called a nucleoside, a base linked to a sugar and to one or more phosphate groups is called a nucleotide.
A biopolymer comprising multiple linked nucleotides is called a polynucleotide. The backbone of the DNA strand is made from alternating sugar residues; the sugar in DNA is 2-deoxyribose, a pentose sugar. The sugars are joined together by phosphate groups that form phosphodiester bonds between the third and fifth carbon atoms of adjacent sugar rings; these are known as the 3′-end, 5′-end carbons, the prime symbol being used to distinguish these carbon atoms from those of the base to which the deoxyribose forms a glycosidic bond. When imagining DNA, each phosphoryl is considered to "belong" to the nucleotide whose 5′ carbon forms a bond therewith. Any DNA strand therefore has one end at which there is a phosphoryl attached to the 5′ carbon of a ribose and another end a
The Paleozoic Era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon. It is the longest of the Phanerozoic eras, lasting from 541 to 251.902 million years ago, is subdivided into six geologic periods: the Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian and Permian. The Paleozoic comes after the Neoproterozoic Era of the Proterozoic Eon and is followed by the Mesozoic Era; the Paleozoic was a time of dramatic geological and evolutionary change. The Cambrian witnessed the most rapid and widespread diversification of life in Earth's history, known as the Cambrian explosion, in which most modern phyla first appeared. Arthropods, fish, amphibians and diapsids all evolved during the Paleozoic. Life began in the ocean but transitioned onto land, by the late Paleozoic, it was dominated by various forms of organisms. Great forests of primitive plants covered the continents, many of which formed the coal beds of Europe and eastern North America. Towards the end of the era, sophisticated diapsids and synapsids were dominant and the first modern plants appeared.
The Paleozoic Era ended with the largest extinction event in the history of Earth, the Permian–Triassic extinction event. The effects of this catastrophe were so devastating that it took life on land 30 million years into the Mesozoic Era to recover. Recovery of life in the sea may have been much faster; the Paleozoic era began and ended with supercontinents and in between were the rise of mountains along the continental margins, flooding and draining of shallow seas between the mountain ranges, in the interior of the continents. At its start, the supercontinent Pannotia broke up. Paleoclimatic studies and evidence of glaciers indicate that central Africa was most in the polar regions during the early Paleozoic. During the early Paleozoic, the huge continent Gondwana was forming. By mid-Paleozoic, the collision of North America and Europe produced the Acadian-Caledonian uplifts, a subduction plate uplifted eastern Australia. By the late Paleozoic, continental collisions formed the supercontinent of Pangaea and resulted in some of the great mountain chains, including the Appalachians, Ural Mountains, mountains of Tasmania.
There are six periods in the Paleozoic Era: Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian and the Permian. The Cambrian spans from 541 million years to 485 million years and is the first period of the Paleozoic era of the Phanerozoic; the Cambrian marked a boom in evolution in an event known as the Cambrian explosion in which the largest number of creatures evolved in any single period of the history of the Earth. Creatures like algae evolved, but the most ubiquitous of that period were the armored arthropods, like trilobites. All marine phyla evolved in this period. During this time, the supercontinent Pannotia begins to break up, most of which became the supercontinent Gondwana; the Ordovician spanned from 485 million years to 443 million years ago. The Ordovician was a time in Earth's history in which many of the biological classes still prevalent today evolved, such as primitive fish and coral; the most common forms of life, were trilobites and shellfish. More the first arthropods went ashore to colonize the empty continent of Gondwana.
By the end of the Ordovician, Gondwana was at the south pole, early North America had collided with Europe, closing the Atlantic Ocean. Glaciation of Africa resulted in a major drop in sea level, killing off all life that had established along coastal Gondwana. Glaciation may have caused the Ordovician–Silurian extinction events, in which 60% of marine invertebrates and 25% of families became extinct, is considered the first mass extinction event and the second deadliest; the Silurian spanned from 443 to 416 million years ago. The Silurian saw the rejuvenation of life; this period saw the mass evolution of fish, as jawless fish became more numerous, jawed fish evolved, the first freshwater fish evolved, though arthropods, such as sea scorpions, were still apex predators. Terrestrial life evolved, including early arachnids and centipedes; the evolution of vascular plants allowed plants to gain a foothold on land. These early plants were the forerunners of all plant life on land. During this time, there were four continents: Gondwana, Laurentia and Avalonia.
The recent rise in sea levels allowed many new species to thrive in water. The Devonian spanned from 416 million years to 359 million years ago. Known as "The Age of the Fish", the Devonian featured a huge diversification of fish, including armored fish like Dunkleosteus and lobe-finned fish which evolved into the first tetrapods. On land, plant groups diversified in an event known as the Devonian Explosion when plants made lignin allowing taller growth and vascular tissue: the first trees evolved, as well as seeds; this event diversified arthropod life, by providing them new habitats. The first amphibians evolved, the fish were now at the top of the food chain. Near the end of the Devonian, 70% of all species became extinct in an event known as the Late Devonian extinction, the Earth's second mass extinction event; the Carboniferous spanned from 359 million to 299 million years ago. During this time, average global temperatures were exc
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom, having financed the European coalition that defeated France during the Napoleonic Wars, developed a large Royal Navy that enabled the British Empire to become the foremost world power for the next century; the Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were small operations in a peaceful century. Rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the state's formation continued up until the mid-19th century; the Great Irish Famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the mid-19th century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland and increased calls for Irish land reform. The 19th century was an era of rapid economic modernisation and growth of industry and finance, in which Britain dominated the world economy. Outward migration was heavy to the United States; the empire was expanded into much of South Asia. The Colonial Office and India Office ruled through a small number of administrators who managed the units of the empire locally, while democratic institutions began to develop.
British India, by far the most important overseas possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In overseas policy, the central policy was free trade, which enabled British and Irish financiers and merchants to operate in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. London formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, moved closer to the United States. Growing desire for Irish self-governance led to the Irish War of Independence, which resulted in most of Ireland seceding from the Union and forming the Irish Free State in 1922. Northern Ireland remained part of the Union, the state was renamed to the current "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" in 1927; the modern-day United Kingdom is the same country as the one from this period—a direct continuation of what remained after the secession—not an new successor state. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which occurred during the British war with revolutionary France.
The British government's fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801; the Irish had been led to believe by the British that their loss of legislative independence would be compensated with Catholic emancipation, that is, by the removal of civil disabilities placed upon Roman Catholics in both Great Britain and Ireland. However, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his government's attempts to introduce it. During the War of the Second Coalition, Britain occupied most of the French and Dutch overseas possessions, the Netherlands having become a satellite state of France in 1796, but tropical diseases claimed the lives of over 40,000 troops; when the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized. The peace settlement was in effect only a ceasefire, Napoleon continued to provoke the British by attempting a trade embargo on the country and by occupying the city of Hanover, capital of the Electorate, a German-speaking duchy, in a personal union with the United Kingdom.
In May 1803, war was declared again. Napoleon's plans to invade Great Britain failed, chiefly due to the inferiority of his navy, in 1805 a Royal Navy fleet led by Nelson decisively defeated the French and Spanish at Trafalgar, the last significant naval action of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System; this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. The British Army remained a minimal threat to France. Although the Royal Navy disrupted France's extra-continental trade—both by seizing and threatening French shipping and by seizing French colonial possessions—it could do nothing about France's trade with the major continental economies and posed little threat to French territory in Europe. France's population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, but it was smaller in terms of industry, mercantile marine and naval strength.
Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. On the contrary Britain possessed the greatest industrial capacity in the world, its mastery of the seas allowed it to build up considerable economic strength through trade to its possessions and the United States; the Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent. The Duke of Wellington pushed the French out of Spain, in early 1814, as Napoleon was being driven back in the east by the Prussians and Russians, Wellington invaded southern France. After Napoleon's surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. Napoleon reappeared in 1815; the Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blücher defeated Napoleon once and for all at Waterloo. To defeat France, Britain put heavy pressure on the Americans